Sunday afternoon, and I finally had time to see to the girls. This was my first visit of the year (oh, the shame) and so finding the beesuit and trousers and gloves was step one. Step two was the smoker, cardboard and matches. Step 3 took rather longer, and was to clear the nettles and general vegetation away from the hive. After that, it was time to open up, and I was pleased to find a happy hive full of bees with the two supers nearly full, but not capped. The Rape is around this year (last year, for a pleasant change, it wasn’t) so I’ll have to Take Off fairly soon. At this rate I may have to add another super first, which will mean digging out some frames or making them up.
Dredging down in the brood box (they were being well behaved) I found a couple of empty queen cells, which tallies with a neighbour a few doors off who had a swarm of bees descend on his house on Saturday and then vanish inside his chimney (yes I went for a look, but since his roof is tall and his fireplace bricked up, there was little to do). Although the hive felt somewhat full for that. Ah well, who knows really. I’m happy they survived the winter – Nikola’s didn’t.